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"Almost, but nothing ever really dies. There are always echoes. You'll learn that soon enough."
—Konstantin Kovar to Oliver on Lian Yu[src]

General[1] Konstantin Kovar (died 2012) was a government strongman who ruled over Krasnoyarsk, Russia. He also used his governmental position as a front for his personal criminal organization that had a rivalry with the Solntsevskaya Bratva. Oliver Queen, working for A.R.G.U.S, infiltrated the Bratva and eventually, culminating in a final battle on Lian Yu, where he was killed by Oliver.

Biography

Early life

Kovar grew up in poverty listening to stories of popular wisdom from his mother[2] and to his father's proverbs.[3] As an adult he served in the Russian army rising through the ranks until he became a general[1] and, eventually, gaining enough political connection to became a governament strongman and the ruler of Krasnoyarsk.[4][5]

Ruler of Krasnoyarsk

Taiana Venediktov mentioned Kovar to Oliver Queen when describing the village she'd come from. Taiana wanted to use the power of the Khushu Idol to come back to Krasnoyarsk and free it from Kovar's control.[4] Her last wish was for Oliver to go to Russia, find her parents and then complete her mission.[6]

Intending to honor Taiana's last wish, Oliver traveled to Krasnoyarsk and joined an illegal fighting ring, seeking to locate Kovar. He ended up killing one of the best "money-makers" in Kovar's criminal empire, after which he sent the Solntsevskaya Bratva thugs to take revenge on Oliver. Oliver was almost killed by a Bratva superior, before the timely intervention from Anatoly Knyazev. Knyazev explained that he himself is a "Bratva Captain" (avtoritet), and encouraged Oliver to move on with his life. Refusing, Oliver asked Anatoly to help him find and kill Kovar, to which the Russian crime boss wasn't ready to agree easily, explaining that Konstantin Kovar controls not only the underworld, but also a whole army of government soldiers, and getting to him would be a suicide mission. As Oliver pressed on, Knyazev decided to help with his plan, firstly by training him as a member of the Bratva.[5]

Kovar and his thugs

Kovar put on a confident persona when meeting Oliver Queen.

Oliver finally got a chance to meet Kovar himself when the Bratva Pakhan Ishmael Gregor sent him on a mission to infiltrate and destroy the casino built by Konstantin Kovar's criminal organization. Oliver, along with the other Bratva grunt, were apprehended by Kovar's men while setting the bomb, before being brought before the governor-turned-crime boss. As he took of his jacket and drank a glass of vodka, Konstantin revealed his knowledge of Oliver's Bratva association, telling the American a story with the moral of unity always being a path to strength, before snapping the neck of Oliver's Bratva partner.[2]

Oliver beaten by Kovar

Kovar beats up Oliver.

Konstantin then brought Oliver for a dinner at his mansion, questioning the American on his reasons for joining the Bratva and going after the governor of Krasnoyarsk. When he understood that Oliver is here to avenge Taiana's mother, Galina, Kovar claimed that the woman decided to work for him when her children, Taiana Venediktov and Vlad disappeared. Oliver tried to threaten Kovar, wounding his hand with a knife and taking guns from his thugs, only for more gangsters to appear and ambush Oliver, with Konstantin explaining that the Bratva agreed to lay off hostilities as exchange for a percentage to his casino's profits, leaving the American on his own. After Kovar gave Oliver a beating, Pakhan Ishmael Gregor arrived to his premises and asked to take Oliver back to the Bratva, as part of the deal.[7]

Personality

Kovar with his sword gallery

Kovar tries to manipulate Oliver Queen.

Kovar was an imposing and cocksure man, taunting his prisoners with his mannerisms. He was also quietly cruel, executing a Bratva thug himself, and generally being known across Krasnoyarsk as an incredibly ruthless man, so much that even the peaceful Taiana Venediktov wanted to use dark magic to kill him. Kovar believed in unity above all else, this moral of his coming from the tale his mother told him. He despised the Solntsevskaya Bratva as "scum", despite controlling a criminal organization of his own, using his governmental position as a front. He also thought that one should not become "a damn farmer".[2]

Abilities

  • Keen intellect/Expert leader: Kovar was an extremely sharp-witted, methodical, alert and adaptive individual. He was an effective leader capable to rule over a whole town.
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Boxer: Kovar was evidently strong in unarmed combat, taking down a Bratva grunt with a single trained neck snap.[2] In his first and second fights, despite losing, he was capable of going toe-to-toe and nearly overpowering Oliver Queen after the latter had began training under Talia al Ghul.
  • Expert investigator: Although he met his match in Ishmael Gregor in the art of information-gathering, Kovar managed to upstage the Bratva leader by sending his thugs to take down the unsuspecting Oliver Queen.[2]
  • Network: Being a Russian governor in Krasnoyarsk, Kovar used his governmental position for the sake of profit, covering up his personal crime ring rival to the Bratva.[2]

Equipment

  • Swords: Kovar owned a gallery of swords that was placed on the wall behind his seat in his mansion.[7]

Appearances

Arrow

Season 4

Season 5

Trivia

  • Konstantin Kovar is the last person that Oliver killed on Lian Yu.

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics Konstantin Kovar was the father of Leonid Kovar, a Russian superhero known as Red Star, a member of Teen Titans, New Titans and an ally of Red Robin. Konstantin eventually turned up as a villain, the man behind "meta men", before his apparent death.
  • In real life the Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai in 2011 was Lev Kuznetsov. Interestingly enough, fictional Russian surname Kovar is similar to Ukrainian/Slavic word "koval'" which means "blacksmith", while surname "Kuznetsov" is based on a Russian word for blacksmith, "kuznets".
  • His "mother's story" Konstantin Kovar told to Oliver is actually a common Russian fairy tale "Repka", or "The Turnip".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Fighting Fire With Fire"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "So It Begins"
  3. "Kapiushon"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Lost in the Flood"
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Legacy"
  6. "Schism"
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Vigilante"